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Holidays in Laugharne

Fans of poet Dylan Thomas will love exploring this South Wales town

UK | Wales | Carmarthenshire | Laugharne
Laugharne Castle

Laugharne in Wales is the last resting place of the 20th century poet and author Dylan Thomas, the inspiration for Under Milk Wood, and was described as a, “Timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town…” by the poet himself. The town recently commemorated and celebrated the centenary of the man’s birth a few years ago, and it is now possible to retrace his footsteps thanks to a map published online by The Times.

Laugharne faces south out across the Bristol Channel – it is a few miles south of Carmarthen and west of Llanelli and east of Tenby. The town centres around Laugharne Castle, first built in 1116 at the mouth of the River Taf. It’s close to here that you will find The Old Boathouse, the final home of Dylan Thomas who lived here from 1949 until his death in 1953. He died in the USA - in New York City - of pneumonia, but was buried at the St Mary’s Churchyard in Laugharne, his grave marked with a white cross. The Old Boathouse is now a museum dedicated to his accomplishments and his short life of 39 years. He described his home as ‘sea-shaken’ and you can see why from its position, held on some rocks down in the Taf Estuary. A few of its rooms have been kept as they would have been when Thomas lived there and others are filled with original letters, manuscripts and information about his life. A small walk along the cliff top is the poet’s writing shed, jutting out over the sands, where Thomas would lock himself in to write. Also, there’s a tearoom at the boathouse now. Dogs are welcome in the garden but not inside the house. The house is close to the newly stored Wales Coast Path.

“Laugharne is the perfect pilgrimage destination for fans of the poet Dylan Thomas…”

Dylan Thomas enthusiasts can also enjoy a pint of ale at his favourite pub, Browns Hotel, where you can see some old pictures of him framed on the wall. Besides the Old Boathouse, Browns is the most popular pilgrimage if you have come here to follow in his footsteps. Also, take a visit to the ruins of Laugharne Castle on the river estuary. The magnificent medieval castle turned Tudor mansion later became the perfect antidote to writer’s block. Both Dylan and author Richard Hughes would frequent the castle’s garden summerhouse to create. Built in the 13th century by the de Brian family, probably atop an earlier Norman castle, the solid mansion we see before us is the lasting legacy of Sir John Perrot. It didn’t fare too well during the Civil War, because it was captured by Parliamentary forces after a siege and then dismantled in part. Be sure to stroll through the castle’s Victorian gardens before heading for the foreshore to take in the views.

The former home of Dylan Thomas, the poet

There’s more to the town than Dylan Thomas of course, nowadays it’s home to nature reserves, which attract artists, tourists, anglers, and bird-watchers. There’s a good mixture of shops to buy provisions in, as well as gift shops, pubs and restaurants.

We have some lovely cottages in and around Laugharne. Why not visit our collection of holiday cottages in Laugharne to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Browns Hotel

At the centre of the town is Dylan Thomas’ local. Be sure to stop in for a hearty pint of ale and some good food

The Old Boathouse and Writing Shed

Visit the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas’ final home and writing shed where it is said that he wrote Under Milk Wood and Death Hath No Dominion

Laugharne Castle

Make sure to stop by the ruins and enticing Victorian gardens at the town’s castle on the estuary.

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